Robert Kirkman spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on Feb. 11 about the return of “The Walking Dead,” and specifically about the questions surrounding the group’s faith in Rick dwindling.
On the most recent episode, Rick and company rushed into Woodbury to save and rescue their kidnapped friends. However, after that happened things began to unravel. When Daryl wanted to bring Merle back with them, Rick refused. This caused Daryl to make a decision and the group’s best protector left with his brother.
Then Glenn questioned why The Governor was allowed to live after torturing him and took it out on a zombie. After that Rick refused to allow Tyreese and his party to join up with them because he didn’t want more lives on his hands, which caused Hershel to question him.
That is when Rick saw a shadow that looked like his dead wife Lori and he flipped out.
“If you see the undercurrent of this episode, you see that forces are moving in Woodbury and there’s definitely a confrontation ahead and it’s happening at the exact wrong time,” Kirkman said. “This is a guy who’s clearly going through some stuff and having a bad time with it. People are going to be unable to look at Rick as a leader at a time when they need him most.”
With Rick saying that Tyreese and his group can’t stay, that is the way it has always been because Rick told the group this is not a democracy. However, that may cause some problems inside the prison. If the survivors lose faith in Rick, then they can’t trust him to keep them safe.
For those people worried about the very popular Daryl leaving the group, Kirkman said not to worry.
“We’re definitely going to follow Daryl and Merle’s journey and see the interaction between those two,” Kirkman said. “These are characters that have changed very much while they were away from each other. Now that they’re back together, they’re almost two completely different people.”
“The Walking Dead” airs on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. EST.
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Shawn S. Lealos is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, the professional film critics’ organization of Oklahoma. He is also working on a book about the Stephen King dollar babies called “Dollar Deal.” To read more of his writing, visit shawnlealos.net.